SENATE BILL NO. 186
AN ACT TO AMEND AN ACT ENTITLED "AN ACT TO REINCORPORATE THE CITY OF LEWES", BEING CHAPTER 170, VOLUME 57, LAWS OF DELAWARE, BY CONFERRING UPON THE CITY COUNCIL CERTAIN POWERS RELATING TO THE TAXATION OF REAL ESTATE TRANSFERS WITHIN THE CITY OF LEWES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE (two-thirds of all of the members elected to each branch thereof concurring therein):
Section 1. Amend Section 37, Chapter 170, Volume 57, Laws of Delaware by redesignating all of the existing Section as "37 A" and adding thereto a new subsection to be designated as subsection 37 B which new subsection shall read as follows:
"REAL ESTATE TRANSFER TAX
Section 37B. a. The City Council of The City of Lewes, in addition to the powers now conferred, shall have the power and authority by ordinance or ordinances to levy, assess and collect or provide for the levying, assessment and collection of such taxes as shall be determined by The City Council of The City of Lewes to be paid by the transferor or transferee upon the transfer of real property or any interest in real property, situate within the corporate limits of The City of Lewes, regardless of where the instruments making the transfers are made, executed or delivered or where the actual settlements on such transfers occur; provided, however, that no tax levied under this section shall exceed one percent (1%) of the sales price (including the value of any assumed mortgage or mortgages) or fair market value of the real property so transferred; and provided further that no tax shall be levied upon an organization exempted from ad valorem real estate taxes.
b. No ordinance or ordinances providing for a tax on the transfer of real property or any interest in real property authorized under this section shall become effective unless it receives an affirmative vote of two-thirds of all the elected members of theCity Council of The City of Lewes.
c. If the taxing power authority granted under this section shall be exercised by way of a stamp affixed to a document presented for recording, the Recorder of Deeds in and for Sussex County shall not receive for record any documents subject to said tax unless such stamps are affixed thereto.
d. The City Council of The City of Lewes may adopt an ordinance. or ordinances to provide for the effective administration and regulation of any tax adopted pursuant to the provisions of this section.
e. No tax levied under this section shall exceed the difference between any tax levied by the State of Delaware on the same property and one percent (1%).
f. This Act shall not become effective until it shall be approved by a majority of the qualified voters at a Special Election to be held pursuant to a Resolution adopted by the City Council of The City of Lewes. The City Council of The City of Lewes shall give notice of the Special Election by printing a copy of the Resolution calling the Special Election in at least two issues of a newspaper having a general circulation within the corporate limits of The City of Lewes within thirty (30) days immediately preceding the date of such Special Election. At the said Special Election every person who is a bona fide resident of The City of Lewes, and who would be entitled at the time of the holding of the said Special Election pursuant to the provisions of this Act to register and vote in the Annual Municipal Election if such Annual Municipal Election were held on the day of the Special Election to be held pursuant to the provisions of this Act may vote at the said Special Election, and such votes may be cast either in person or pursuant to a Power of Attorney as in Section 3, Chapter 170, Volume 57, Laws of Delaware. The Special Election shall be held by a Board of Election to be appointed by the Mayor of the City of Lewes at least two weeks before such Special Election. The Election Board shall consist of an Inspector of the Special Election and such Judges as shall be authorized by the City Council of The City of Lewes. If a majority of the votes cast at the Special Election shall be in favor of the transfer tax authorized by this Act, the tax may be levied and collected as provided for in this Act. The Board of Election holding the Special Election shall meet after the close of such election to ascertain the result and shall certify the result to the City Council of The City of Lewes. The hours of the Special Election shall be from Twelve o'clock noon, prevailing time, until Six o'clock in the evening, prevailing time, and such persons who are in the polling place at Six o'clock in the evening, prevailing time, shall be entitled to vote even though such votes may be cast after Six o'clock in the evening, prevailing time, for the purposes of holding the Special Election as provided for in this Act, paper ballots may be used. If the majority of the votes cast at any Special Election held under this Act shall be against the levying of the tax authorized by this Act, the proposition shall not again be submitted to the qualified voters for a period of Ninety (90) days from the date of such Special Election."
Approved May 20, 1977.